College Sports Madness Top 44 Previews 2021-22

Ignatius L Hoops

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It's that time of year. College Sports Madness's begins the countdown.

44 Mississippi State
43 Colorado (former Gopher commit, Lesila Finau, is now a senior)
42 Marquette (Karissa McLaughlin (Purdue) and Kennedi Myles (Illinois) join the Golden Eagles)
41 Oklahoma State
40 Arizona State (Mael Gilles we remember from Rutgers)
39 Duke (Former Badger starter, Imani Lewis, joins a bevy of transfers to Durham)
38 Gonzaga
37 Michigan State (Tamara Farquhar's (Purdue) rebounding prowess joins the Spartans)
36 Ole Miss (Last season, former Terp 6'5" Shakira Austin led the Rebels to respectability)
35 Northwestern (Can Anna Morris step it up?)
34 Texas (Knocked Maryland out of the NCAA Tournament before being erased by S. Carolina)
33 Florida Gulf Coast (Former Buckeye, Kierstan Bell, had a phenomenal season for the Eagles)
32 BYU (Defeated Rutgers 69-66 in first round of NCAA Tournament)
31 Georgia
30 Missouri State (Amaka Agugua-Hamilton's Lady Bears returned to the Sweet Sixteen)
29 Arkansas (Destinee Oberg, now a junior, season-played 23 minutes in SEC games last season)
28 DePaul (One time Gopher commit, Deja Church, is now a Blue Demon Junior)
27 South Florida (Benilde's Patience Williams joins an international roster)
26 Virginia Tech (Former Boilermaker starting guard Kayana Traylor joins the Hokies)
25 South Dakota (Hannah Sjerven returns for the Coyotes)
24 LSU (Kim Mulkey)
23 Notre Dame (Niele Ivey tries to live up to the hype)
22 Arizona (Defeated UConn but were 0-3 versus Stanford including the NCAA title game)
21 Georgia Tech (Lost to South Carolina 76-65 in the Sweet Sixteen)
20 Texas A&M (Destiny PItts, SEC 6th Woman of the Year, returns for her Covid year)
19 Florida State
18 Oregon State
17 UCLA (Former Hoosier Jaelynn Penn joins three other notable transfers to Westwood)
16 Tennessee (Michigan defeated the Lady Vols 70-55 in the 2nd of the NCAA tournament)
15 West Virginia (Will meet Purdue and Michigan State in holiday tournaments)
14 Ohio State (Ignore the hole in the center)
13 Kentucky (Linn Dunn is Special Assistant to the Head Coach, Kyra Elzy)
12 Iowa State (The Ashley Joens show)
11 Michigan (One time Husker, Leigha Brown, was given the green light at Michigan)
10 Iowa (Monika Czinano led the nation in FG% (.668) and FG (254))
9 Oregon
8 Baylor (Will former Lady Lion guard, Kamaria McDaniel, help Waco forget Kim Mulkey)
7 Indiana (Ali Patberg enters her 7th season)
6 Louisville
5 North Carolina State (Farmington's Sophie Hart joins the Wolfpack)
4 Maryland (The best offense returns; as does WBB's most intriguing player, Ashley Owusu)
3 South Carolina
2 Stanford (Defending champs welcome Northwestern transfer Jordan Hamilton)
1 UConn (Paige Bueckers could not snap UConn out of their slump; can Azzi Fudd?)
 
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Ignatius L Hoops

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Arizona State Sun Devils

Overall Rank: #40
Conference Rank: #6 Pac-12

Arizona State with Rutgers transfer Mael Gilles hosts the Gophers in Tempe on November 12.

Arizona State finished last season with a sub .500 Pac-12 record for just the second time since 2000. With history like that, last season was likely an anomaly. And even in a bad season, the Sun Devils managed to reach the WNIT and finish 12-12 overall. Coach Charli Turner Thorne returns four starters and a nice group of newcomers to help start a new NCAA Tournament streak in 2021-2022.

2020-21 Record:
12-12, 6-9
2020-21 Postseason: WNIT
Coach: Charli Turner Thorne
Coach Record: 476-280 at Arizona State, 516-320 overall

Key Departed Players (starters in bold)
Eboni Walker, Forward, 7.4 ppg
Sydnei Caldwell, Guard, 4.4 ppg
Iris Mbulito, Guard/Forward, 2.9 ppg
Jamie Loera, Guard, 2.8 ppg

Key Returning Players (starters in bold)
Taya Hanson, Senior, Guard, 12.6 ppg
Jaddan Simmons, Sophomore, Guard, 10.8 ppg
Katelyn Levings, Sophomore, Forward, 5.7 ppg
Maggie Besselink, Sophomore, Guard/Forward, 5.1 ppg

Jayde Van Hyfte, Senior, Forward, 3.0 ppg
Imogen Greenslade, Sophomore, Center, 1.4 ppg
Gabriela Bosquez, Senior, Guard, 1.2 ppg
Sydney Erikstrup, Sophomore, Guard, 0.8 ppg

Key New Players
Ayzhiana Basallo, Senior, Guard, Transfer from San Jose State
Mael Gilles, Senior, Forward, Transfer from Rutgers
Jade Loville, Senior, Guard/Forward, Transfer from Boise State
Meg Newman, Freshman, Forward
Isadora Sousa, Junior, Guard, JC Transfer

Projection:
Taya Hanson will be the senior leader of this group. She led the team with 12.6 points and added 4.3 rebounds. Hanson was also the only player that was a threat at all to hit a three-pointer last season. The team as a whole made just 5.2 three-pointers per game at a 26.4 percent clip. Hanson made nearly half of the team’s long balls and connected on 34.4 percent of her attempts. Jaddan Simmons is a good scorer when attacking the basket and the point guard averaged 10.8 points and 2.7 assists during her freshman campaign. Wing Maggie Besselink had a very promising freshman year as well, averaged 5.1 points and a team high 5.7 rebounds. Katelyn Levings is yet another sophomore who earned a starting role as a freshman. The 6-3 forward averaged 5.7 points and 4.2 rebounds. The return of Jayde Van Hyfte will add an experienced presence in the frontcourt. She missed nearly all of last season, but was a starter in 2019-2020. All five newcomers have the potential to make a big impact and that will provide the Sun Devils with the depth they need to creep up the conference standings. Jade Loville was a starter at Boise State last season and averaged 17.1 points per game. Mael Gilles comes from Rutgers where she has been a starter for the last two years. Ayzhiana Basallo could be the answer to ASU’s shooting problems. Two years ago, at San Jose State, she hit 45.4 percent of her attempts from beyond the arc and averaged 18.5 points per game. Junior college All-American Isadora Sousa is a proven shooter as well and incoming freshman Meg Newman will add another dynamic to the frontcourt.

Projected Postseason Tournament: NCAA

By the Numbers:

Scoring Offense: 54.0 (315th in nation, 11th in conference)
Scoring Defense: 56.7 (23, 3)
Field-Goal Percentage: 33.3 (327, 12)
Field-Goal Defense: 41.0 (207, 9)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 5.2 (232, 11)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 26.4 (307, 11)
Free-Throw Percentage: 71.0 (148, 6)
Rebound Margin: 1.1 (129, 6)
Assists Per Game: 11.8 (230, 8)
Turnovers Per Game: 16.0 (187, 9)


Madness 2021 Women’s Basketball Recruit Rankings:

#31 Meg Newman
 

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Michigan State Spartans

Overall Rank: #37
Conference Rank: #7 Big Ten

Michigan State snuck into the NCAA Tournament last year; the tenth appearance under Coach Suzy Merchant. The Spartans lost in the first round to Iowa State, but now the team’s top seven scorers including all five starters are back. That should lead to yet another NCAA Tournament appearance for the Spartans.

2020-21 Record:
15-9, 8-7
2020-21 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Suzy Merchant
Coach Record: 296-157 at Michigan State, 497-277 overall

Key Departed Players (starters in bold)
Janai Crooms, Guard, 5.1 ppg
Kendall Bostic, Forward, 4.2 ppg
Mardrekia Cook, Forward, 3.6 ppg

Key Returning Players (starters in bold)
Nia Clouden, Senior, Guard, 18.7 ppg
Alyza Winston, Junior, Guard, 11.1 ppg
Julia Ayrault, Junior, Guard, 9.0 ppg
Alisia Smith, Senior, Forward, 8.7 ppg

Taiyier Parks, Junior, Forward, 7.8 ppg
Tory Ozment, Senior, Guard/Forward, 6.9 ppg
Moira Joiner, Junior, Guard, 5.9 ppg
Brooklyn Rewers, Freshman, Center, 2.4 ppg
Jayla James, Junior, Guard, 1.4 ppg
Laurel Jacqmain, Senior, Guard, 0.8 ppg

Key New Players
Isaline Alexander, Freshman, Forward
Matilda Ekh, Sophomore, Guard/Forward
Tamara Farquhar, Senior, Forward, Transfer from Purdue
DeeDee Hagemann, Freshman, Guard
Lauren Walker, Freshman, Forward

Projection:
Nia Clouden led Michigan State with 18.7 points, 3.9 assists and 1.6 steals per game. The 5-8 senior also added 4.2 rebounds and connected on 33 three-pointers. Clouden is a great leader on the floor, but there is plenty of experience around her too. Alyza Winston was the only other double-digit scorer on the team and proved to be a very dangerous shooter. Moira Joiner is the other major shooting threat on the team and should again play that role off the bench. Julia Ayrault and wing Tory Ozment were regular starters last season and both are dynamic scorers who are at least a threat to shoot the ball from outside. Ayrault is a big 6-2 guard who led the team in blocks. The frontcourt will again revolve around Alisia Smith and Taiyier Parks. Smith averaged 8.7 points and 6.2 rebounds, while Parks added 7.8 points and 6.0 rebounds. Those two averaged fewer than 20 minutes each, but the Spartans can play both of them together as needed, but with plenty of size on the perimeter, MSU can certainly play with one forward very effectively. The addition of Purdue transfer Tamara Farquhar will add another tough rebounder in the paint. Coach Merchant has also brought in a very good recruit in DeeDee Hagemann who can make an impact right away. With all of that depth and experience, Michigan State should be a consistent team. That may not result in a big move up the Big Ten standings, but it should result in another trip to the NCAA Tournament.

Projected Postseason Tournament: NCAA

By the Numbers:

Scoring Offense: 75.2 (29th in nation, 5th in conference)
Scoring Defense: 68.8 (240, 5)
Field-Goal Percentage: 44.8 (31, 6)
Field-Goal Defense: 42.3 (259, 9)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 6.5 (119, 8)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 33.0 (90, 6)
Free-Throw Percentage: 67.2 (234, 13)
Rebound Margin: 3.1 (82, 4)
Assists Per Game: 16.9 (12, 3)
Turnovers Per Game: 14.3 (83, 7)


Madness 2021 Women’s Basketball Recruit Rankings:

#29 Damiya Hagemann
 




Ignatius L Hoops

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Northwestern Wildcats

Overall Rank: #35
Conference Rank: #6 Big Ten


Northwestern won the Big Ten in 2019-2020. Unfortunately, they never got a chance to take that team to the NCAA Tournament. They followed it up with another good season, but dropped to fifth in the Big Ten. They won a tournament game and will look to build off that success in 2021-2022. Losing Lindsey Pulliam and her 15.5 points per game and Jordan Hamilton and her 9.0 points hurts, but Coach Joe McKeown has talent on this roster and a few players who should be ready to step up and fill the lost production.

2020-21 Record:
16-9, 11-7
2020-21 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Joe McKeown
Coach Record: 223-186 at Northwestern, 732-360 overall

Key Departed Players (starters in bold)
Lindsey Pulliam, Guard, 15.5 ppg
Jordan Hamilton, Guard, 9.0 ppg


Key Returning Players (starters in bold)
Veronica Burton, Senior, Guard, 16.2 ppg
Sydney Wood, Senior, Guard/Forward, 10.8 ppg

Courtney Shaw, Senior, Forward, 7.4 ppg
Paige Mott, Sophomore, Forward, 3.6 ppg
Lauryn Satterwhite, Senior, Guard, 2.7 ppg
Anna Morris, Sophomore, Forward, 2.2 ppg
Laya Hartman, Junior, Guard, 2.1 ppg
Jasmine McWilliams, Sophomore, Guard, 1.8 ppg
Kaylah Rainey, Junior, Guard, 1.4 ppg
Jess Sancataldo, Senior, Guard, dnp last season

Key New Players
Mercy Ademusayo, Freshman, Forward
Jillian Brown, Freshman, Guard
Melannie Daley, Freshman, Guard
Caileigh Walsh, Freshman, Forward
Hailey Weaver, Freshman, Guard

Projection:
Veronica Burton could take even more of the scoring load on her shoulders after tallying 16.2 points and 4.9 assists a season ago. Obviously, she has proven that she is capable of dropping 30 points on any given day. Wing Sydney Wood added 10.8 points and 5.6 rebounds. She will be the team’s top scoring threat inside the paint. Courtney Shaw and Paige Mott split starting time in the frontcourt last season. Shaw was the most productive, averaging 7.4 points and a team high 6.3 rebounds. Some younger players like Anna Morris and Jasmine McWilliams will look to step into larger roles this year. The return of Jess Sancataldo, along with players like Lauryn Satterwhite and Laya Hartman, should add plenty of options. Coach McKeown has also brought in a very good recruiting class, highlighted by three top 50 recruits Hailey Weaver, Jillian Brown and Caileigh Walsh. Coach McKeown should be able to find eight or nine players that can provide enough depth and keep Northwestern competing for a spot in the NCAA Tournament.

Projected Postseason Tournament: NCAA

By the Numbers:

Scoring Offense: 67.4 (126th in nation, 11th in conference)
Scoring Defense: 61.1 (85, 3)
Field-Goal Percentage: 40.1 (165, 13)
Field-Goal Defense: 41.3 (221, 8)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 4.2 (291, 13)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 26.8 (299, 14)
Free-Throw Percentage: 65.9 (268, 14)
Rebound Margin: -3.5 (267, 14)
Assists Per Game: 15.9 (29, 4)
Turnovers Per Game: 11.4 (9, 2)

Madness 2022 WNBA Draft Rankings:
#15 Veronica Burton

Madness 2021 Women’s Basketball Recruit Rankings:

#37 Hailey Weaver
#42 Jillian Brown
#43 Caileigh Walsh
 

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Ignatius L Hoops

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Potential Gopher Opponent in the Bahamas:

South Florida Bulls

Overall Rank: #27
Conference Rank: #1 American

South Florida took advantage of UConn’s move to the Big East and won their first ever American Athletic Conference title. Overall, the Bulls went 19-4 and earned an eight seed in the NCAA Tournament. Following a victory over Washington State, USF fell 79-67 to top seed North Carolina State. With their top six scorers returning and some more experience coming from the transfer portal, this could be the year Coach Jose Fernandez finally leads his team to the second weekend of the NCAA Tournament.

2020-21 Record:
19-4, 12-2
2020-21 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Jose Fernandez
Coach Record: 391-275 at South Florida, 391-275 overall

Key Departed Players (starters in bold)
Kristyna Brabencova, Wing, 4.2 ppg
Beatriz Jordao, Center, 2.7 ppg

Key Returning Players (starters in bold)
Elena Tsineke, Sophomore, Guard, 13.6 ppg
Sydni Harvey, Junior, Guard, 11.7 ppg
Elisa Pinzan, Junior, Guard, 10.3 ppg
Bethy Mununga, Senior, Forward, 9.6 ppg

Maria Alvarez, Sophomore, Guard, 7.3 ppg
Shae Leverett, Senior, Center, 4.4 ppg
Mihaela Lazic, Freshman, Guard, 1.8 ppg
Cristina Bermejo, Sophomore, Wing, 1.3 ppg
Sara Guerreiro, Freshman, Guard, 1.1 ppg

Key New Players
Odeth Betancourt, Sophomore, Forward, JC Transfer
Dulcy Fankam Mendjiadeu, Senior, Forward, Transfer from Memphis
Bella Weary, Freshman, Guard
Patience Williams, Freshman, Forward/Center, JC Transfer
Aerial Wilson, Sophomore, Guard, Transfer from Memphis

Projection:
Elena Tsineke, Sydni Harvey and Elisa Pinzan provide USF with plenty of scoring threats on the perimeter. Following her AAC Freshman of the Year season in 2019-2020, Tsineke had another very good campaign in 2020-2021. She led the Bulls with 13.6 points per game and proved to be a dynamic scorer who can finish around the basket. Harvey was the team’s most prolific three-point shooter and averaged 11.7 points per game. Pinzan runs the show and dished out 6.5 assists per game. Like nearly everybody else on this team, she is a threat to hit the long ball and that often creates the space she needs to attack the basket and finish herself or find a teammate. Speaking of shooters, Maria Alvarez is a great shooting threat off the bench and hit over 49 percent of her shots from beyond the arc. Point guard Aerial Wilson started two seasons at Memphis and will be a great secondary option to Pinzan. Bethy Mununga anchors the frontcourt and the 6-0 senior easily led the team with 12.9 rebounds. She is a quality interior scorer too and can even occasionally stretch the defense with her shooting ability. Shae Levertt started beside Mununga last season and is solid on the defensive end. Coach Fernandez needed to get some depth in the frontcourt and he picked up three forwards with experience. Odeth Betancourt and Patience Williams come from the junior college ranks and Dulcy Fankam Mendjiadeu comes from Memphis where she averaged 14.1 points, 6.7 rebounds and 1.6 blocks as a sophomore last year. With that experience and talent added to the frontcourt, South Florida has more than everything they need to win another AAC title.

Projected Postseason Tournament: NCAA

By the Numbers:

Scoring Offense: 65.4 (150th in nation, 3rd in conference)
Scoring Defense: 55.4 (16, 2)
Field-Goal Percentage: 36.9 (281, 8)
Field-Goal Defense: 35.4 (17, 2)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 7.5 (55, 1)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 30.4 (195, 3)
Free-Throw Percentage: 71.9 (120, 1)
Rebound Margin: 8.3 (16, 1)
Assists Per Game: 15.0 (52, 2)
Turnovers Per Game: 13.4 (42, 2)
 

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Free to compete; Two posts exited and Taylor Mikesell returned to the B1G.

Ohio State Buckeyes

Overall Rank: #14
Conference Rank: #5 Big Ten


Ohio State was one of the best teams in the brutal Big Ten last year. That is until the end of the season when Madison Greene got hurt and the Buckeyes had nothing to play for with a self-imposed postseason ban. Heading into 2021-2022 though, Coach Kevin McGuff has a couple big holes to fill. Dorka Juhasz transferred to Connecticut and Aaliyah Patty left for Texas A&M. OSU still has three proven scorers returning, but some new faces will have to step up and be ready to provide consistent, quality minutes.

2020-21 Record:
13-7, 9-7
2020-21 Postseason: None
Coach: Kevin McGuff
Coach Record: 169-84 at Ohio State, 400-176 overall

Key Departed Players (starters in bold)
Dorka Juhasz, Forward, 14.6 ppg
Aaliyah Patty, Forward, 11.5 ppg


Key Returning Players (starters in bold)
Jacy Sheldon, Junior, Guard, 16.7 ppg
Madison Greene, Junior, Guard, 13.4 ppg
Braxtin Miller, Senior, Guard, 11.5 ppg

Kateri Poole, Sophomore, Guard, 6.6 ppg
Tanaya Beacham, Senior, Forward, 4.1 ppg
Rebeka Mikulasikova, Junior, Forward, 4.0 ppg
Rikki Harris, Sophomore, Guard, 3.4 ppg
Gabby Hutcherson, Sophomore, Forward, 3.1 ppg

Key New Players
Kaitlyn Costner, Freshman, Guard
Taylor Mikesell, Senior, Guard, Transfer from Oregon
Taylor Thierry, Freshman, Guard/Forward

Projection:
The backcourt trio of Jacy Sheldon, Madison Greene and Braxtin Miller are a great group to build around. Sheldon led the Buckeyes with 16.7 points per game and led the squad in three-point shooting. Greene added 13.4 points per game, while Miller ended the season with 11.5. All three are capable ball handlers and Greene and Miller are very good at taking care of the ball. Not often does a team score as many points as the Buckeyes and do such a great job of avoiding turnovers. Add in sophomores Kateri Poole and Rikki Harris and Oregon transfer Taylor Mikesell and the Buckeyes have an amazing backcourt. The problem is in the frontcourt. Rebeka Mikulasikova had a solid freshman campaign in 2019-2020 prior to an ankle injury, but her playing time was very inconsistent last season. Tanaya Beacham is an experienced senior who played at Toledo before transferring into Ohio State last season. Her experience could be extremely important this season. Gabby Hutcherson is a versatile 6-2 forward who can hit three-pointers and block some shots. She did not see much playing time as a freshman, but she was a big-time recruit and has the talent to anchor the frontcourt while Coach McGuff runs four guards around her.

Projected Postseason Tournament: NCAA

By the Numbers:

Scoring Offense: 80.2 (10th in nation, 3rd in conference)
Scoring Defense: 70.0 (259, 8)
Field-Goal Percentage: 43.7 (51, 7)
Field-Goal Defense: 40.2 (170, 5)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 6.8 (94, 7)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 32.4 (116, 8)
Free-Throw Percentage: 70.7 (152, 8)
Rebound Margin: -0.3 (176, 9)
Assists Per Game: 14.1 (97, 11)
Turnovers Per Game: 12.6 (22, 4
 



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Michigan Wolverines

Overall Rank: #11
Conference Rank: #4 Big Ten

After what seemed like years and years of having to settle for trips to the WNIT, Michigan has now reached three NCAA Tournaments in a row. Last season that resulted in the Wolverines first ever trip to the Sweet Sixteen. And it was nearly better than the Sweet Sixteen. After getting past Florida Gulf Coast and Tennessee with relative ease, Michigan took Baylor to overtime with a spot in the Elite Eight on the line. Three starters are back, including All-American Naz Hillmon, and that should keep Michigan moving in the right direction.

2020-21 Record:
16-6, 9-4
2020-21 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Kim Barnes Arico
Coach Record: 193-102 at Michigan, 462-308 overall

Key Departed Players (starters in bold)
Akienreh Johnson, Guard, 10.9 ppg
Hailey Brown, Forward, 8.0 ppg


Key Returning Players (starters in bold)
Naz Hillmon, Senior, Forward, 23.9 ppg
Leigha Brown, Senior, Guard, 18.2 ppg
Amy Dilk, Senior, Guard, 7.7 ppg

Maddie Nolan, Junior, Guard, 4.5 ppg
Emily Kiser, Senior, Forward, 2.4 ppg
Danielle Rauch, Senior, Guard, 2.3 ppg
Michelle Sidor, Junior, Guard, 2.3 ppg
Cameron Williams, Sophomore, Forward, 1.7 ppg
Whitney Sollom, Sophomore, Forward, 1.3 ppg
Elise Stuck, Sophomore, Guard/Forward, 1.0 ppg
Izabel Varejao, Junior, Center, dnp last season

Key New Players
Taylor Gibson, Freshman, Forward
Jordan Hobbs, Freshman, Guard
Laila Phelia, Freshman, Guard
Ari Wiggins, Freshman, Guard

Projection:
Hillmon took another big step forward during her junior campaign, averaging 23.9 points and 11.4 rebounds. The consensus Big Ten Player of the Year is poised for another huge season. While Hillmon does all the work in the frontcourt, Leigha Brown will be the main scoring threat on the perimeter. Brown had a superb debut season with the Wolverines, averaging 18.2 points, 4.5 rebounds and 3.1 assists. Amy Dilk does not do too much scoring, but the senior guard led the Wolverines with 3.9 assists per game. Hillmon, Brown and Dilk will form a great trio to build around. The key for this group will be filling in around them. Maddie Nolan was usually the first player off the bench last year. She should step into a starting role and be the team’s top three-point shooting threat. Danielle Rauch and Michelle Sidor will add more options to the backcourt. The frontcourt needs a new starter too. Emily Kiser is an experienced senior who has played a decent role off the bench in each of the last three seasons. Izabel Varejao averaged 5.4 points and 3.7 rebounds as a freshman back in 2019-2020. She sat out last season after facing travel issues, but could now emerge as a key piece in Coach Kim Barnes Arico’s frontcourt. Four freshmen, highlighted by top 50 recruits Laila Phelia and Ari Wiggins, should help this group find enough production outside the big three.

Projected Postseason Tournament: NCAA

By the Numbers:

Scoring Offense: 75.3 (27th in nation, 4th in conference)
Scoring Defense: 64.9 (161, 4)
Field-Goal Percentage: 45.0 (28, 5)
Field-Goal Defense: 39.4 (132, 4)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 5.4 (215, 10)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 30.7 (182, 10)
Free-Throw Percentage: 74.3 (57, 4)
Rebound Margin: 10.8 (11, 1)
Assists Per Game: 15.6 (35, 5)
Turnovers Per Game: 15.7 (171, 11)

Madness 2022 WNBA Draft Rankings:
#7 Naz Hillmon

Madness 2021 Women’s Basketball Recruit Rankings:

#39 Laila Phelia
#44 Ariana Wiggins
 

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Iowa Hawkeyes

Overall Rank: #10
Conference Rank: #3 Big Ten


Over the last few years Iowa has turned into one of the best programs in the Big Ten. Last year the Hawkeyes fell to fifth in the Big Ten, but still made a nice NCAA Tournament run to the Sweet Sixteen before falling to top seeded Connecticut. That was a pretty young team though and now this more experienced Iowa team returns their top seven scorers. That should set them up nicely to compete for a Big Ten title in 2021-2022.

2020-21 Record:
20-10. 11-8
2020-21 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Lisa Bluder
Coach Record: 436-232 at Iowa, 773-363 overall

Key Departed Players (starters in bold)
Megan Meyer, Guard, 2.3 ppg
Alexis Sevillian, Guard, 1.6 ppg
Lauren Jensen, Guard, 1.3 ppg

Key Returning Players (starters in bold)
Caitlin Clark, Sophomore, Guard, 26.6 ppg
Monika Czinano, Senior, Forward/Center, 19.3 ppg
McKenna Warnock, Junior, Guard/Forward, 12.0 ppg
Gabbie Marshall, Junior, Guard, 9.1 ppg
Kate Martin, Junior, Guard, 7.0 ppg

Sharon Goodman, Sophomore, Center, 3.7 ppg
Tomi Taiwo, Senior, Guard, 3.7 ppg
Logan Cook, Senior, Forward, 2.0 ppg

Key New Players
Sydney Affolter, Freshman, Guard
AJ Ediger, Freshman, Forward
Kylie Feuerbach, Sophomore, Guard, Transfer from Iowa State
Addison O’Grady, Freshman, Forward/Center

Projection:
Caitlin Clark took over this team during her amazing freshman campaign. She averaged 26.6 points, 7.1 assists and knocked down an impressive 116 three-pointers. Clark led the nation in assists, field-goals made, points, points per game, three-point attempts and three-pointers made. That is quite the way to start off a collegiate career. Kate Martin is also a very good ball handler and added 4.0 assists per game on top of her 7.0 points. The backcourt welcomes the return of fellow junior Gabbie Marshall as well. She was second on the team last year with 57 made three-pointers. Wing McKenna Warnock is a very good shooter too. The 6-1 junior is also the team’s top rebounder. Monika Czinano hangs out in the paint and the 6-3 senior averaged 19.3 points and 5.8 rebounds. She has developed into an extremely consistent interior scorer and shot an impressive 68.0 percent from the floor. All five of the starters averaged at least 29.6 minutes per game, so expect Coach Lisa Bluder to rely very heavily on her starting lineup once again this season. However, Sharon Goodman proved to be effective backing up Czinano and Tomi Taiwo is a decent shooter off the bench. The addition of Kylie Feuerbach adds a bit more experience to the roster. She started 24 games at Iowa State as a freshman and averaged 5.5 points and 3.1 rebounds. A solid recruiting class, highlighted by top 50 forward AJ Edidger, will add some more options down the bench, and that depth will come in handy during the grind of the Big Ten.

Projected Postseason Tournament: NCAA

By the Numbers:

Scoring Offense: 86.1 (2nd in nation, 2nd in conference)
Scoring Defense: 80.3 (336, 14)
Field-Goal Percentage: 51.3 (1, 1)
Field-Goal Defense: 44.5 (315, 11)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 9.6 (7, 1)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 40.8 (1, 1)
Free-Throw Percentage: 80.0 (3, 1)
Rebound Margin: -0.1 (160, 7)
Assists Per Game: 20.1 (5, 2)
Turnovers Per Game: 14.5 (94, 8)

Madness 2022 WNBA Draft Rankings:
#24 Monika Czinano

Madness 2021 Women’s Basketball Recruit Rankings:

#41 Allison Ediger
#118 Addison O'Grady
 

Ignatius L Hoops

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Indiana Hoosiers

Overall Rank: #7
Conference Rank: #2 Big Ten


Coach Teri Moren took over an Indiana team that had not won an NCAA Tournament game since 1983. It took her one season to rebuild to put an end to that drought. Since that 2016 season, the Hoosiers have kept crawling their way forward. All that effort came to fruition last season when the Hoosiers finished second in the Big Ten and reached the Elite Eight for the first time in program history. With all five starters back, the Hoosiers will be looking to take the next steps and win a Big Ten title and get to the Final Four.

2020-21 Record:
21-6, 16-2
2020-21 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Teri Moren
Coach Record: 148-80 at Indiana, 347-210 overall

Key Departed Players (starters in bold)
Jaelynn Penn, Guard, 9.5 ppg
Keyanna Warthen, Guard, 1.8 ppg
Danielle Patterson, Guard/Forward, 1.7 ppg

Key Returning Players (starters in bold)
Mackenzie Holmes, Junior, Forward, 17.8 ppg
Grace Berger, Senior, Guard, 15.4 ppg
Ali Patberg, Senior, Guard, 14.0 ppg
Aleksa Gulbe, Senior, Forward, 9.0 ppg
Nicole Cardano-Hillary, Senior, Guard, 8.5 ppg

Kiandra Browne, Sophomore, Forward, 2.1 ppg
Chloe Moore-McNeil, Sophomore, Guard, 1.3 ppg
Grace Waggoner, Junior, Guard, 0.6 ppg

Key New Players
Keyarah Berry, Freshman, Guard
Caitlin Hose, Senior, Guard, Transfer from Georgia
Kaitlin Peterson, Freshman, Guard
Mona Zaric, Freshman, Forward

Projection:
Throughout February and March, the Hoosiers relied very heavily on their starters. Nobody else averaged more than nine minutes per game on the season. IU may find themselves in a similar situation in 2021-2022, at least to begin the campaign. Forward Mackenzie Holmes is coming off a huge season and will look to keep it going this time around. She became the Hoosiers first All-American honoree, earning honorable mention accolades, and led the Hoosiers with 17.8 points, 7.6 rebounds and 3.0 blocks. Holmes shot 60.7 percent from the floor and the offense will again work through the talented 6-3 forward in the paint. Aleksa Gulbe will start beside Holmes again. She is a very good defender too and can do a little bit of shooting from long range. Grace Berger, Ali Patberg and Nicole Cardano-Hillary form a superb senior trio in the backcourt. Berger had another huge junior season, averaging 15.4 points, and 4.6 assists. She is not a shooter, but there are few players in the country who are as effective attacking the basket as Berger. Patberg had a bit of a down year, by her standards at least, averaging 14.0 points and shooting just 28.8 percent from beyond the arc. She shot 39.4 percent from beyond the arc in 2018-2019 and 38.6 percent in 2019-2020. If Patberg can get back to those numbers, this will be a very tough offense to stop. Of course, the Hoosiers will need to find some depth. Kiandra Browne showed some promise as a freshman and should manage most of the frontcourt minutes off the bench. Caitlin Hose has some starting experience at Georgia and incoming freshman point guard Kaitlin Peterson has the talent to make an impact right away. If Indiana can find enough depth to give their starters a bit of rest without too much of a drop in production, this group could win the Big Ten.

Projected Postseason Tournament: NCAA

By the Numbers:

Scoring Offense: 74.4 (35th in nation, 7th in conference)
Scoring Defense: 59.9 (63, 2)
Field-Goal Percentage: 45.4 (21, 4)
Field-Goal Defense: 37.6 (59, 1)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 4.1 (300, 14)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 28.0 (273, 13)
Free-Throw Percentage: 71.8 (127, 7)
Rebound Margin: 3.6 (72, 3)
Assists Per Game: 14.3 (86, 10)
Turnovers Per Game: 11.1 (5, 1)

Madness 2022 WNBA Draft Rankings:
#20 Ali Patberg

Madness 2021 Women’s Basketball Recruit Rankings:

#73 Kaitlin Peterson
 

Ignatius L Hoops

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Maryland Terrapins

Overall Rank: #4
Conference Rank: #1 Big Ten

Since joining the Big Ten, Maryland has won the regular season conference title six times out of seven. Following a season where the Terrapins went 26-3 overall and 17-1 in conference play and return their top eight scorers, it is hard to see this group not making that seven out of eight. Despite that success since joining the Big Ten, Maryland has struggled at times in the NCAA Tournament. In the last five NCAA Tournaments, despite very high seeds, the Terrapins have lost in the second round or the sweet sixteen. They will look to make a deeper run with this experienced squad.

2020-21 Record:
26-3, 17-1
2020-21 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Brenda Frese
Coach Record: 512-131 at Maryland, 569-161 overall

Key Departed Players (starters in bold)
Alaysia Styles, Forward, 4.9 ppg

Key Returning Players (starters in bold)
Ashley Owusu, Junior, Guard, 17.9 ppg
Diamond Miller, Junior, Guard, 17.3 ppg
Chloe Bibby, Senior, Forward/Guard, 13.2 ppg
Katie Benzan, Senior, Guard, 12.7 ppg
Mimi Collins, Junior, Forward, 10.6 ppg

Angel Reese, Sophomore, Forward/Guard, 10.0 ppg
Faith Masonius, Junior, Guard/Forward, 6.8 ppg
Channise Lewis, Senior, Guard, 5.1 ppg
Taisiya Kozlova, Sophomore, Guard, 2.3 ppg
Zoe Young, Sophomore, Guard, 1.3 ppg

Key New Players
Emma Chardon, Freshman, Forward
Shyanne Sellers, Freshman, Guard

Projection:
Ashley Owusu is the player that makes the nation’s top scoring offense tick. The point guard dished out 5.9 assists per game and led the team with 17.9 points. Few players in the country can attack the basket as effectively as the 6-0 junior. She can finish herself or at least get to the charity stripe as well as find her teammates for an open look. Diamond Miller, another junior guard, is almost as effective attacking the basket. Miller is also more of a threat to hit the long ball. But the best shooter on the team is Katie Benzan. She led the nation in three-point field-goal percentage, hitting exactly half of her 186 attempts from beyond the arc. Wings Chloe Bibby and Angel Reese were both double digit scorers a season ago. Bibby was the second most prolific three-point shooter on the team last year, while Reese is a great rebounder and interior scorer. She managed to average 10.0 points and 6.0 rebounds in her 15 appearances despite averaging just 15.3 minutes per game. Mimi Collins will again start at the five spot. The 6-3 junior led the Terrapins with 6.2 rebounds per game and added 10.6 points. With this group having so much experience playing together, Maryland is the clear favorite to win the Big Ten again. The goal for this team will be putting it all together in March and taking Maryland back to the Final Four.

Projected Postseason Tournament: NCAA

By the Numbers:

Scoring Offense: 90.8 (1st in nation, 1st in conference)
Scoring Defense: 69.0 (246, 6)
Field-Goal Percentage: 49.6 (3, 2)
Field-Goal Defense: 40.7 (193, 7)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 8.2 (36, 2)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 40.0 (2, 2)
Free-Throw Percentage: 79.0 (7, 2)
Rebound Margin: 7.6 (21, 2)
Assists Per Game: 20.3 (3, 1)
Turnovers Per Game: 12.0 (14, 3)


Madness 2021 Women’s Basketball Recruit Rankings:

#50 Shyanne Sellers
 



Ignatius L Hoops

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College Sports Madness ranking of B1G teams is complete.

Maryland
Indiana
Iowa
Michigan
Ohio State
Northwestern
Michigan State
 

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Hmm surprised #7 in Big Ten, thinking they’re more top 5, behind Maryland, Iowa, Indiana and Michigan
was thinking the same but then saw they are without Ozment and Ayrault for the season.. will be interesting who can step up.. but I was thinking they could have finished as high at 5th without injuries.. still can but those two were going to be A HUGE parts of the Spartans offense..
 

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Battle 4 Atlantis obstacle

Connecticut Huskies

Overall Rank: #1
Conference Rank: #1 Big East



Connecticut returned to the Big East and did the same thing they did in the AAC…dominate. The Huskies went a perfect 18-0 in Big East action, but did falter in the Final Four for the fourth time in a row. By UConn standards, that is disappointing. Coach Geno Auriemma did have a young team last year though. Now this is a very experienced group with a talented bunch of sophomores that are poised to take another step forward. With nearly everybody back and a crop of newcomers who have the potential to make a huge impact from day one, the Huskies should get back to the Final Four and make a serious run for their first national title since 2016.

2020-21 Record:
28-2, 18-0
2020-21 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Geno Auriemma
Coach Record: 1,119-144 at Connecticut, 1,119-144 overall

Key Departed Players (starters in bold)
Anna Makurat, Guard, 4.9 ppg

Key Returning Players (starters in bold)
Paige Bueckers, Sophomore, Guard, 20.0 ppg
Christyn Williams, Senior, Guard, 16.3 ppg
Olivia Nelson-Ododa, Senior, Forward, 12.0 ppg

Aaliyah Edwards, Sophomore, Forward, 10.7 ppg
Evina Westbrook, Senior, Guard, 9.4 ppg
Aubrey Griffin, Junior, Forward, 6.2 ppg
Kika Muhl, Sophomore, Guard, 4.9 ppg
Mir McLean, Sophomore, Forward, 2.8 ppg
Piath Gabriel, Sophomore, Forward, 0.7 ppg
Saylor Poffenbarger, Freshman, Guard, 0.5 ppg

Key New Players
Amari DeBerry, Freshman, Forward
Caroline Ducharme, Freshman, Guard
Azzi Fudd, Freshman, Guard
Dorka Juhasz, Senior, Forward, Transfer from Ohio State
Saylor Poffenbarger, Freshman, Guard

Projection:
Paige Bueckers became the first freshman to win the Wooden Award, Naismith Trophy, AP Player of the Year and USBWA Player of the Year. The 5-11 guard averaged a smooth 20.0 points, 5.8 assists, 4.9 rebounds and 2.3 steals per game. She hit 46.4 percent of her 138 attempts from beyond the arc and shot 52.4 percent overall from the floor. Evina Westbrook is a steady senior who can set up her teammates and hit some outside shots. Christyn Williams will again be the main backcourt scoring threat along with Bueckers. The senior tallied 16.3 points per game and is a great scorer from everywhere on the floor. Kika Muhl started 15 games as a freshman and averaged 4.9 points and 2.7 assists. She is a good shooter when given the opportunity. The frontcourt will be led by Olivia Nelson-Ododa. The 6-5 senior tallied 12.0 points and a team high 7.8 rebounds and 1.8 blocks. Aaliyah Edwards had a very promising freshman campaign, tallying 10.7 points and 5.7 rebounds. Junior Aubrey Griffin is another talented forward who can provide quality depth in the paint. The frontcourt will also get a boost from Ohio State transfer Dorka Juhasz. The 6-5 forward started three years at Ohio State and averaged 14.6 points and 11.1 rebounds in 2020-2021. The four-player class of freshmen is led by top recruit Azzi Fudd. Caroline Ducharme, Amri DeBerry and Saylor Poffenbarger are also top 20 prospects. They will not all be able to find quality minutes on this roster, but Coach Auriemma certainly has the depth to weather any potential issues throughout the season.

Projected Postseason Tournament: NCAA

By the Numbers:

Scoring Offense: 81.9 (6th in nation, 1st in conference)
Scoring Defense: 52.6 (6, 1)
Field-Goal Percentage: 51.1 (2, 1)
Field-Goal Defense: 33.7 (5, 1)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 6.7 (104, 6)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 35.6 (33, 1)
Free-Throw Percentage: 71.4 (137, 8)
Rebound Margin: 11.2 (7, 1)
Assists Per Game: 20.4 (1, 1)
Turnovers Per Game: 14.1 (70, 2)

Madness 2022 WNBA Draft Rankings:
#8 Christyn Williams
#9 Evina Westbrook
#12 Dorka Juhasz
#17 Olivia Nelson-Ododa

Madness 2021 Women’s Basketball Recruit Rankings:

#1 Azzi Fudd
#7 Caroline Ducharme
#8 Amari DeBerry
#16 Saylor Poffenbarger
 




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